Monday, 31 August 2015

Great week, awesome experience

     Hello Everyone,

     This week has been pretty good!! We do have a few baptisms coming up!! So about that...
     So a when Elder Jimenez was my companion still here in Tulum, we were looking for more people to teach. We were looking through the list of old investigators that the missionaries before us had been teaching. And we found a person, names Lucia. I felt that we needed to look for her. So we got the address and we started looking! After a few days of looking we finally found her. She told us that she wasn't really interested now and that she's going to another church. However, she said that she is willing to listen but that she wasn't going to change religions. 
     So after that, we decided to visit her one more time. So we did and when we went to her house, she told us a bunch of things that had happened. How she felt uncomfortable in the church that she was going to and how her life was falling apart with her husband too. How he always abuses her and her kids and he always arrives drunk at the house. So we invited her to come to church, read the BOM and pray a lot!! I have been praying a lot for her too. So, this last Sunday (not yesterday, the Sunday before) she came to church!! And she loved it!! 
     In the next visit that we had with her she expressed to us how strongly she felt the spirit in the church. And then she started crying, and told us, "I have been praying and looking for an answer to all of this. I revieved my answer when I was in the church, I know this is all true!!" When she said that, I almost burst into tears. And now she's super excited to get baptized!! And me too!! But, one problem, she is not married... If she's not married then she can't be baptized. And her husband wasn't to keen on getting married (even though they have been together for almost 11 years now. What's taking so long!?) But, he said that he would come to church this Sunday. So I told my companion Elder Mendoza that we were going to fast for them so that he can have his heart opened to complete with the commandments of God. And yesterday he came to church!! It was so awesome! Also, the main topic in the church yesterday was about The Family, a proclamation to the World and how marriage is so important!! WOW!! It was truly amazing!! What we learned in the church yesterday was especially for them!! After the meetings I asked him (his name is Abraham) if he liked it. He then gave me a hug, and told me that he loved it!! And that next week he is coming to church again!! YAA!!! It was so awesome. And we are going to see them today and are going to help em get baptized!!
     I know the Lord prepares each and every person to receive the gospel. He knows when, and where the person is ready to receive it! This experience is such a testimony builder for me. Because I saw her before and how she didn't really want the message, and I have seen a complete change! I have seen how the Lord works miracles amongst the children of men. With lots of prayers and fasting, anything is possible!! I know THE CHURCH IS TRUE!! THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN RESTORED!! And I have the priveledge to bring people to this knowledge. I love you all so much and I hope you enjoyed this letter!! Keep the faith!!

         Lots of love,

            Elder Strate   

Monday, 24 August 2015

Hard work paying off

       Hello Everyone,

       This past week has been a little hard for me. I loved my great grandma Harriet so much. However, I know she's in a better place!! And she is now reunited with my grandpa Fred! I know that they are so happy to be together once again! I love the gospel knowledge that we have. Our families can be together forever! But only if we obey the commandments and honor our covenants that we have made with our heavenly father. For those of you who have not made these covenants, I encourage you to do so!! And if you are not members yet, well there is that to do first!! 
         I heard that the funeral was good, wish I could have been there. I know the Lord still needs me here right now. 
         We are starting to find some new investigators so thats good!! We have a few baptisms on date for these upcoming weeks!! Fingers crossed!! Also, on the september 13 they are re-dedicating the temple in Mexcio!! So we get to watch a live broadcast from here on the 13th! I'm super excited! Should be an awesome day. 
        Well, thats all I got this week, thanks for all your love and prayers!! 
                                     Elder Strate 

Monday, 17 August 2015

New comp

Hola Todos,

         This past week has been full of events!! Congrats to my baby sister Bree who got baptised this Saturday!! I really enjoyed "being there" haha! 
         This past week was interesting for me. On Tuesday morning, we recieved a phone calle from President Kirkham. He started talking to my companion. He talked for a while, so I thought something bad had happened. Then President talked to me, and he informed me that my companion needed to travel to Cancun. And that he is going to work as a secretary in the offices! So thats great!! Nothing bad there haha! 
           So we left Tulum that morning and traveled to Playa del Carmen. Then another missionary who was going to the offices to met up with my companion Elder Jimenez and they both left for Cancun. And then I went to Cozumel to stay with another missionary, Elder Contreras! So all this week I was in Cozumel! Exciting!! That was a great week. And right now I am back in Tulum with my new companion, Elder Mendoza!! He's super funny and we are going to get along great! Oh, and a funny story that happened this week while I was in Cozumel. 
           So on Thursday, we arrived to eat at the house of a member. And they were planning on making hamburgers on their barbeque. So the brother started to light the charcoal. But for some reason it wouldn't light. So he decided to get take some gas out of his dune buggy to use it to light the fire. So we took out the gas and put it into a gatorade bottle. Then he poured it onto the charcoal and then a match to light it. It started to burn, but it wasn't that great still. So then little by little he was pouring more gas on to keep it burning. Then suddenly, the fire caught up to the bottle through the stream of gas as he was pouring! Then the whole bottle lit on fire!! Then he quickly threw it on the floor. Well, then it kinda started a fire lol!! Then, Elder Contreras and I became firefighters!! We quickly ran to grab the hose and we started to battle the fire haha. It took about 10 mins but we got it under control and put it out. It was a bit crazy, but all went well. The charcoal did light afterall and we ate our hamburgers in peace haha!! 
         Well, thats about all for this week. Thanks for all your love and support!! Until next week!!

       Elder Strate 

                                                                    My new comp

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sister's Baptism

     Derek and Dawson both sent messages home to be read for Bree's baptism on August 15, 2015. They were both well received and added so much to the service.

     We had cut outs made of the boys and they looked great! Bree ran over and hugged them when she saw them.

     I'm so happy you have made the decision to be baptized! Baptism is such a special blessing, and you're so lucky that you have the privilege to be baptized a member of Jesus Christ's church. I have the privilege of sharing this blessing with people everyday out here in the mission field. It's an amazing experience for me when one of the people we are teaching makes the decision to be baptized, the same decision you have made. Baptism is the first of the saving ordinances for Salvation, and we need it to make a promise with God. When we are baptized we promise to keep God's commandments, and to be his disciple in all places! Bree, that basically means if you're going to get baptize you need to try your hardest to be an extra good girl! 😁 Haha! 
      I love the mission! At times it is tough, but when I rely on the Savior I can make life a lot easier for me. That's another door that is going to be opened to you at baptism, you will be cleansed of sin through the power of the Holy Ghost. That means you will be able to feel good when you apologize to people and when you do the right things.  After you receive the Gift of the Holt Ghost you will able to have the Holy Ghost with you after you take the sacrament, as long as you continue to try and be a good person! 
     I love you Bree, I'm so happy that you have chosen to be baptized. I wish I could be there, but right now the Lord has another assignment for me. I have left our family for 2 years, because I want to help other families become eternal. Always remember that Bree, because you are being baptized you are starting your path towards the temple, which is where we were made brother and sister for eternity.
     Elder Derek Strate

       Bree - Why is the holy ghost so important? There are many reasons. I think one of the most important ones is that he teaches us and helps us to remember the things that we have learned. As states in John 14:26-27 , he helps us to do these things. He testifies to us the truthfulness of the Gospel. Especially when someone is looking to recieve an answer to know if the Church is true.   
      When you are learning about Jesus Christ and doing the things that he has commanded us, we will feel the infuence of the Holy Ghost. Now, why is this good to know? Because now, you will have the Holy Ghost with you ALWAYS. If you obey and do whats right, he will guide you and help you in all aspects of your life. So you can continue strengthening your testimony ever day. How can we recognize the Holy Ghost? Galations 5:22-23 says that through thoughts and feelings we will recognize his influence. Love, peace, joy, happiness and many other feeling are the fruits of the holy ghost. I bear witness that the Holy ghost is real. And that its necessary for us to have his help in our lives. In this fallen world, we need all the help we can get to be able to return to the presence of our father in heaven. And he wants us to return! That is why he has sent us this wonderful opportunity to obtain the gift of the holy ghost
       Its truly amazing!! Have a great Day Bree, I love you soo much and hope you can feel the savior's love. And mine too!! 

            Elder Dawson Strate

Monday, 10 August 2015

That darn cat..........

     Hello Everyone,

     This week has been pretty busy. We had a Zone Meeting on Thursday, and then after the Zone meeting we had a Zone conference with President Kirkham and his wife. It was a day really full of fun and learning!! 
     When President came, we played a game. One of my most favorite games, thats right, The Family Feud!! But here in Mexico its called, "100 Mexicanos dijieron" (100 Mexicans said). So we changed the title of it to 100 Misioneros dijieron. It was so much fun!! The questions were based on the things we need to know as missionaries. Things that we need to learn that are in Preach My Gospel. We had a great time. 
     Then after we received some instruction from President on how we can become better missionaries. We also ate Empanadas!! They were so good. A member made them and they were delicious!! Overall it was a great spiritual experience and we all enjoyed it!! 
     Something else that I remembered that I forgot to mention last week. So last week we went to visit a less active lady in our ward. We were sitting outside talking and everything was fine. Then suddenly, a terrible, sly and evil monster came up to me and did the worst thing I could have EVER imagined!! Thats right, a cat peed on my bag(which has my scriptures, gospel pictures, pamphlets...etc.) Luckily, only the outer part of my bag suffered, and my things inside are okay. But that made me pretty mad...stupid cat...I already hated cats you know. Anyways, so the sister felt really bad and started spraying the her cat with water and chasing it around the yard haha! Then afterward she still felt really bad so she insisted to wash my bag. That was really nice of her!! I always knew that cats were evil...
     Also next Monday we have transfers. I don't know If I'm going to stay or leave. Until next week we shall know!! Thanks everyone for all your love and support!! May the spirit guide you wherever you may go!! 

       Lots of love,

               Elder Strate

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Monday, 3 August 2015

Hot hot hot

     Hello Everyone,

     I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!! Here, every day is summer!! Every day during the whole year haha! Right now its even hotter. #35 degrees with about 90% humidity, its super crazy!! 
     Right now we have found a few more people to teach, not too many but its a start. The search never ends! The work will never end until the Lord himself tells us. Even though its hard, its really worth it!! My testimony of the Gospel grows stronger ever day!! I also know that our families CAN be together forever. If we obey God's commandments and complete with all of the requirements, it can be done! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Anything is possible if we put our faith in him!! I don't have much to say, but I want you all to know how much I love each and every one of you! 
     I am praying for Great Grandma Strate, praying for comfort and peace. She has been a good example to me and I love her lots.
     Thank you all so much for your friendships and support, and prayers. May the Lord be with you wherever you may go. "God be with you t'il we meet again". 


      Elder Strate